Robert Fay

Senior Scientist

Robert Fay, PhD, has 40+ years of experience in multiple aspects of sample surveys, including survey design, estimation, variance estimation, imputation and analysis of missing data, statistical modeling of data from complex samples, and small area estimation. He joined Westat, after retiring from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Fay is a Fellow of the American Statistical Association, a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the recipient of the 2022 Award for Outstanding Contribution to Small Area Estimation, the Gold Medal Award from the Department of Commerce, and the Roger Herriot Award for Innovation in Federal Statistics.

In recognition of his contributions to the field, Fay has been named a Westat Senior Statistical Fellow and serves on the Statistical Fellows Committee, which provides consultation on important survey statistics issues and addresses recent advances in applied statistics. Fay is a research professor in the Joint Program in Survey Methodology at the University of Maryland.


  • PhD, Statistics, University of Chicago
  • MS, Statistics, University of Chicago
  • BS, Mathematics, University of Chicago

Areas of Expertise

Selected Publications

Erciulescu A., Ren W., Li J., Krenzke T., Mohadjer L., and Fay R. (2022).

Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC): County-level estimation for age and education groups methodology report.

Li J., Krenzke T., Ren W., Mohadjer L., Fay R., and Erciulescu A. (2022).

Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC): State-level estimation for age and education groups methodology report.

Fay R.E. (2021).

Constructing and disseminating small area estimates from the National Crime Victimization Survey, 2007–2018.

Krenzke T., Mohadjer L., Li J., Erciulescu A.L., Fay R., Ren W., Van de Kerchkove W., Li L., and Rao J.N.K. (2020).

Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies. State and county estimation methodology report.

Fay R.E. (2018).

Further comparisons of unit- and area-level small area estimators.

Fay R.E. and Riddles M.K. (2017).

One- versus two-step approaches to survey nonresponse adjustments.

Fay R.E. and Diallo M.S. (2015).

Developmental estimates of subnational crime rates based on the National Crime Victimization Survey.

Fay R.E. and Diallo M.S. (2015).

Small-area estimates of crime rates for states and large counties based on the NCVS.

Fay R.E. (2014).

The sample overlap problem for systematic sampling.

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